San Diego will be in the national spotlight this week when the Farmers Insurance Open returns to Torrey Pines — and the San Diego Tourism Authority is hoping to use that to our advantage.
This weekend during the tournament, the Tourism Authority will be launching its new “Happy And You Know It” campaign.
SDTA President and CEO Julie Coker said the goal is to entice people to visit America’s Finest City by showing them all the ways happiness comes naturally here.
“We know in San Diego, given our beautiful weather and the fantastic hospitality vibe that we have here, and the fact that we’re diverse and inclusive, and all of the great outdoor attractions and restaurants and we’re still doing outdoor dining, we know that you can be inspired, and rejuvenated and recharged,” Coker said. “And so, that gives you happy vibes, and we want folks here to enjoy that.”
The Tourism Authority is also joining forces with travel organizations across the country to promote “National Plan For Vacation Day,” which is today, January 25. They’re encouraging people to plan their vacations for the entire year – now – and to travel within the U.S., ideally in San Diego.
“We know that what Americans are looking to do is outdoor activities. They want beautiful scenes, they want outdoor restaurants, and they want to hike and bike and just enjoy beautiful beaches, and of course, that’s everything we have right here in San Diego,” Coker said.
Getting people to visit San Diego is crucial to our local hotels, shops, restaurants and many other businesses.
According to the Tourism Authority, our local industry lost 20 years of economic gains in 2020, in the areas of employment, visitor spending and economic impact. While things improved greatly last year, the industry still hasn’t rebounded to 2019 levels.
Coker said it’ll likely be a few more years before that happens, which is why these new campaigns are so important.
“We have an outstanding marketing campaign that we’ve laid out for this year that will boost travel for the spring and the summer. Our meetings and conventions will be held this year, so two legs of our stool appear to be coming back. That international piece will need to also come back for all three legs to really bring us back fully. So we do still anticipate 2024 for when we will fully recover,” Coker said.